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By Dr. John M. Marzluff, Mr. Tony Angell

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But their increasing numbers also cause us to consider lethal control. Crows have responded to our varied culture with a diversification of their own culture. Some are inextricably linked to that cornucopia of garbage, the dumpster, while others are established scavengers on less reliable offerings. The boldest birds beg at the windows of sympathetic urbanites. Still others inconspicuously raid hostile rural residents’ feeders, gardens, and hunting grounds. These cultural adjustments may have produced the strong differences we detect today between rural and city crows.

Others, like Rooks brought to New Zealand by homesick Europeans, succeed, and in so doing challenge the creative force of isolation that continental drift produced more than fifty million years ago. Actions like this often benefit some species but inhibit others. Our unintentional enhancement of some crow species and direct destruction of others is altering the balance of crow species on earth at an alarming rate. As we explain in chapter 2, our activities in the Americas are critically endan34 Cultural Connections gering unique island crow species and furthering the spread of successful mainland crows into regions not historically occupied.

This means that they are able to learn, remember, and use insight to solve natural and human challenges. Clark’s NutcrackA multipurpose beak is a defining feature of a crow. Here crows delicately carry eggs, tear open a bag, make a tool, place a nut before a car, ant, scrape and pinch a squashed bug from the pavement, crush a berry, flake bark, allobill, gape, and probe, pull, and hammer at a Moon Snail. ] A Crow Is a Crow, or Is It? ers (Nucifraga columbiana) and Pinyon Jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus), for example, store thousands of pine seeds each fall and, with an accuracy rate exceeding 90 percent, remember the locations so they can accurately retrieve the seeds from these nondescript, subterranean caches through the winter and spring, thus ensuring a source of food for the adults and young, which hatch early in the year.

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